“Another World” Finds New Life On iOS, Still Crazy Hard

When it was released in 1991 on the Amiga, Another World was one of those games that drew you into its world from the very first second, and kept you at rapt attention even after you died countless times. The game has spent nearly two decades meandering from computer to console and vice versa, but Eric Chahi’s creation has just made the leap onto iOS just in time for its 20th anniversary.

Another World is a platformer that follows a red-headed, Ferrari-driving physicist whose latest experiment launches him into an alien world. Better known as the less auspicious “Out Of This World” here in the States, the new app from DotEmu and BulkyPix plays things very close to the original. The pixelated retro look of the main character and the alien world in which he finds himself have been replaced with crisper visuals, but (thankfully) the game retains its quiet, alien charm. Purists will be glad to know, though, that the game’s original look is a quick two-finger swipe away.

In order to attain the fluid motion that made Another World such an eye-opener, creator Chahi rotoscoped video of himself bounding over and picking up objects. In light of today’s hyper-realistic games, Chahi’s efforts may look quaint, but it’s sure to fill old-school gamers with a bit of nostalgia.

No flash has been added to appeal to new audiences, and the unwavering difficulty remains the same — it’s a essentially a straight port of a classic, for better or worse. The biggest stumbling block that Another World has to contend with is the device that it’s now going to be played on.

It was never an especially easy game, even when you had a trusty keyboard to work with, but playing it with a touchscreen adds another level of challenge to a game that doesn’t need it. Example: the beginning of the game requires you to run and bound over a few poisonous slugs, and then run in the opposite direction from a larger alien beastie. I played it for a bit and the game was as difficult as ever but the up and down swipes to swim, jump, and interact with objects were a bit easier on the iPad than I expected but still not quite there.

Maybe my reflexes have dulled since last I played, but it took me several tries to guide the our protagonist through those first minutes of the game. The touch controls start to make more sense after a while, but (and this is critical) I never really like I had full control over my character.

It’s a shame, really. Another World is one of those games that nerds (like myself) have put on a pedestal over the years, but the controls really mar what is otherwise a fond trip down memory lane. For those willing to deal with iffy controls to relive the good ol’ days, Another World costs $4.99 and is available in the App Store now.